Natural solutions are popular mosquito repellent for anyone who is worried about the effects that pesticides have on their health or the environment.
In this review, we’ll cover:
- Our top pick
- What natural mosquito repellents are
- If these natural repellents work (and how)
- How safe natural repellents really are
- Other top natural repellents
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits conventional pesticides are safe when applied properly. Nevertheless, all-natural, remedies have become quite popular.
When using essential oils and other natural remedies, it's important to note that none meet the efficacy standards set by conventional pesticides, with the exception of lemon eucalyptus.
Nonetheless, when used properly, folks who prefer natural alternatives should be able to find something that satisfies them.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top natural mosquito repellents. To jump to our top pick, click here.
Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control
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Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control
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MDXConcepts Magma Home Pest Spray
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Edens Garden Pest Defy Synergy Blend
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Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 01/04/2020)
Wondercide is a lemongrass mixture that's safe to use pets and children over the age of 2 years old. This repellent comes in a convenient 32-ounce spray bottle with a trigger handle. It works on clothes, furniture, carpet, and hardwood floors without staining any of them in the process.
Lemongrass is one of the few essential oils that has had actual research done on it with favorable results. That being said, it needs to be reapplied every few hours.
On the plus side, this product is completely DEET-free.
Top 5 Best Best Natural Mosquito Repellent
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about dust mite covers.
What Are Natural Mosquito Repellents?
Although there has been some research done on essential oils like lemongrass oil, none of them have been able to establish an agreed-upon definition of what constitutes a “natural” repellent for mosquitoes or any other kind of insect.
Some would argue – with some justification – that if a machine is used to squeeze a fruit or plant to obtain the liquids from it, it has been processed and is therefore no longer “natural”.
Others, using a more open interpretation, hold that as long as nothing in it was synthesized (creating a man-made look-alike) in a lab then it qualifies as “natural” regardless of how many processing steps it went through.
This video does a great job explaining what "natural" really is.
We mention all this because some people may take exception to a few of the items in this review.
Nonetheless, since we want to cast as wide a net as possible, we’re going to use the second, more liberal interpretation of the word “natural” in determining which products fit into this category.
We do promise this though – all the products in this review will be DEET-free and free of other pesticides such as picaridin, a synthetic duplicate of ingredients found in plants used to make black pepper. There won’t be any of those in this review at all.
Read more: Which fly sprays contain pesticides?
That being the case, we’re going to look at two broad classifications of natural mosquito repellents: those that premixed and those that are homemade.
These are the ones that require you to use raw plants or purchase raw essential oils, then get out the mixing cups and eye droppers to measure the exact amounts for yourself. This is somewhat akin to using homemade soap. This method tends to require more effort.
How Do Natural Mosquito Repellents Work?
Certain plants exhibit a natural tendency to repel insects. Hoping to duplicate the process, people have been using plant extracts for centuries for pest control as well as homeopathic medicine, herbal remedies, aromatherapy, and beauty lotions.
The following video is filled with useful information about these plants extracts, as well as other effective natural mosquito repellents.
You need to get rid of mosquitoes somehow though. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists thousands of pages about mosquito-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, malaria, West Nile, and Zika.
If you’re not comfortable using regular pesticides to repel mosquitoes then essential oils are a natural alternative.
A quick warning though: People with sensitive skin can experience an allergic reaction to some essential oils when they’re applied directly to the skin. Just because a product is natural doesn’t necessarily mean that it's safe.
The truth about how natural mosquito repellents work is impossible to answer. Even DEET, the oldest, most widely studied mosquito repellent in use today, still baffles researchers as to exactly how it works. They know it does work, they just don’t know how.
The problem is exacerbated with natural repellents because there is no standard definition for “natural,” nor is there is one for how essential oils are to be extracted and refined. Every company uses its own individual method.
Since there isn’t any standardization, there isn’t any way to test their efficacy in the lab. There’s no way to ensure the same amount of essential oil is used in every test or that it is the same quality each time, or that there aren’t any additives or particulate matter in it.
The best way to find out is trial and error.
How Do You Find Natural Mosquito Repellents?
Essential oils are natural plant extracts that are suspected of having repellent properties with regard to mosquitoes and other insects are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Tea tree oil
Witch hazel oil
These oils can be found in many health and beauty shops, health food stores, and online at places like Amazon. There are premixed and ready to use natural mosquito repellents are also widely available. We’ll provide links to each one as we discuss it.
Are Natural Mosquito Repellents Effective?
Up to a point, yes. As you might expect, it’s the “up to a point” part that creates all the confusion.
Natural mosquito repellents are intended to repel mosquitoes, not kill them. An insect repellent, by definition, doesn’t kill any insects, so they can always come back for another attempt tomorrow or an hour from now. Or one minute.
What you need to remember is that essential oils repel only some of the mosquitoes, gnats, biting flies, and other biting insects that bother you. They will repel a certain percentage of the bugs, but not all of them.
For example: if 100 mosquitoes swarm around you and the natural bug spray you’re using is 30% effective, that means 30 mosquitoes will be repelled but 70 of them won’t. They’ll keep on coming.
Any natural insect repellent will be effective on a certain percentage of insects, but, depending on the active ingredients, a different essential oil – used in conjunction with the first one – will repel a different percentage of insects.
If product A repels 30% and product B repels 30%, that means 60% of them are being stopped by your natural mosquito repellent combination. Add a third one with still other natural ingredients, and suddenly you’re looking at a very effective multi-layered approach.
This is the key to effective mosquito control using natural products: use two or more at the same time. This is the best and most effective way to use a natural bug repellent.
How To Use Natural Mosquito Repellents
Essential oils aren’t standardized, so their use isn’t standardized either. They’re all different.
Therefore, we’ll cover how to use each repellent in the product list below.
Are Natural Mosquito Repellents Safe Around My Pets And Children?
To a certain extent. They are safe, but there’s a minimum age for use around children. Here is a quick breakdown of the more popular ones:
- Eucalyptus: Shouldn’t be applied to or used around children under 10 years old
- Rosemary: Under the age of 6
- Peppermint: Under the age of 6
- Lemongrass: Under the age of 2
- Clovebud: Under the age of 2
Cedarwood and lavender, on the other hand, are safe even for infants. You can use them safely on anyone. Lemon eucalyptus (closely related to regular eucalyptus) can also be used on all ages.
For pets, there isn’t any hard data to point to one way or the other. Don’t use it on immature pets that are still growing. After they mature and reach adulthood, it will be safe to use essential oils on them provided you avoid their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
Best Natural Mosquito Repellents Reviewed
As a quick recap, here are the five natural mosquito repellents we looked at.
Our #1 pick went to the Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control, but some of the others might be better suited to your needs.
Wondercide is a lemongrass mixture in a 32-ounce spray bottle with a trigger handle. It’s safe to use pets and children over the age of 2 years old. It works on clothes, furniture, carpet, and hardwood floors without staining.
Lemongrass is one of the few essential oils that has had research done on it and the results are very favorable. As with any essential oil it has to be reapplied every few hours but it is completely free of any harsh chemicals.
Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control is extra-concentrated peppermint essential oil. Extra concentration makes it last longer (2-3 days) and perform better.
It's a natural bug spray with a pleasant peppermint odor which freshens the air as it repels mosquitoes and other insects.
Peppermint shouldn’t be used on anyone under the age of six, and because it is concentrated, it could cause skin irritation to people with allergies. If an allergic reaction occurs, stop using it at once.
This spray comes in a 16-ounce spray bottle with a trigger spray handle and won’t leave any stains on the furniture or your clothes.
This bug spray is a mixture of three essential oils:
Together, they repel mosquitoes and freshen the air in your house at the same time. It comes ready to use in a big 16-ounce bottle with a spray trigger.
MDXConcepts Magma Home Pest Spray is safe to use around pets and children over the age of six. It is 100% organic and made in the USA.
One concern that we have is that they over-promise. Their advertising says the product "Kills on contact" but anything strong enough to kill bugs on contact would be dangerous to human beings.
This is a blend of four essential oils:
Edens Garden Pest Defy has a fresh, woody scent and is available in four different sizes depending on your requirements. Edens Garden is a woman-owned and operated company.
Mix 25-30 drops into a 4 ounce spray bottle with 1 ounce of grain alcohol and 2 ounces of distilled water. Shake it vigorously each time before using it then spray it on your clothes, furniture, and flooring.
You can also spray it directly on yourself. It is safe to use on anyone over the age of six, but be careful of the grain alcohol when you mix it. It will burn if it gets in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Our Top Pick: Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control
There are a lot of natural mosquito repellents on the market.
Most of them are able to repel other insects as well, which you may or may not need.
All of them will work to one degree or another, but there can only be one winner.
Overall, our top pick goes to Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control.
It’s safe to use pets and children and works on clothing, furniture, and floors without staining.
Lemongrass is one of the few essential oils that has been researched, making this a more reliable natural repellent.
Final Thoughts On Natural Mosquito Repellents
For people who like to be bug-free and get their hands dirty, we recommend a one-two punch of Wondercide and second essential oil of your choice.
Between the two of them, you’ll have most bases covered, leaving you comfortable and mosquito-free.
Other Mosquito Guides
Curious about other mosquito-related products and guides? Check out our other detailed articles to help you deal with your pest problems.